Our Speaker Series on January 31 featured Tandem co-founder John Howard, who came to regale the community with his thoughts on and stories of Tandem's early years. He brought along Tandem alum Nathalie Heyward (TFS '76), who shared her own experiences of Tandem in the '70s. Howard said that he and co-founder Duncan Alling faced many obstacles as they opened co-ed, integrated Tandem School in 1970. The school's progressive, college prep mission with mottoes of Kindness and Wisdom and Freedom with Responsibility met with local skepticism. Those opinions began to change in 1973 when six of the seniors in the first graduating class were admitted to UVA. John spoke about the importance of kindness, of strengthening yourself so that you can help others, of leaving Tandem with what you have learned and going out to change the world. He both inspired and challenged today's Tandem students to embrace and stay true to those guiding philosophies. Nathalie spoke with humor about the Tandem she experienced after being at a more strict school, and shared some great stories of student life here. Both of them answered many student questions with honesty and humor. What a gift it was for our community to hear from them today!
In the January 10 Speaker Series, eight recent alums came to share their wisdom about college with our juniors and seniors. They spoke eloquently about how and why they chose their schools, and gave great advice about how to settle in and find friends, and how to organize your time. They answered many student and faculty questions about what worked for them at Tandem and what's working for them in college. We love this annual event as it brings back beloved alums to share their insights and advice about their college selection process and college life. They always provide authentic and heartfelt input. Many thanks to Zeke Weiss (TFS '18, Guilford College), Elie Bashkow (TFS '18, UVA after gap year), Eli Ratzlaff (TFS '16, UVA), Emma Johnson (TFS '19, Kenyon College), Tori Carter-Johnston (TFS '18, Howard University), Kate Dean McKinney (TFS '17, William & Mary), Latrell Winkey (TFS '18, VCU), and Fisher Brodie (TFS '18, Alfred University after gap year) for sharing their time today. This annual Speaker Series is always a favorite.
This year's annual alumni vs varsity basketball game was played on Tuesday, November 26 to a rowdy crowd. While there were not enough alums to form a full team to take on the girls, one female alum joined the guys in the game while a few others remained as fans. The alums led for much of the time, but in the end the varsity boys prevailed (with a little help from coach Sampson Dale, a former Tandem Middle Schooler). You can catch some video of the second half of the game on our Facebook page - the game included lots of good-hearted fun and taunting.
Alum players, coached and cheered on by former coach Gordon Fields, included Matt Meriwether ('05), Anthony Nelson ('19), Javon Carter ('17), Aslan Urushanov ('17), Matt Mahoney ('11), Kate Moody ('13), Tommy White ('16), Jalen Anderson ('19), Ian Bloom ('15), Rodes Jarman ('17), and Latrell Winkey ('18). Alum fans in attendance (many of whom were players themselves) included (at least these are the ones in the post-game photo) Jake Minturn (03), Dirk Kingma ('04), Nick Passino ('19), Emma Passino ('17), Maggie Passino ('13), Jordan Drexel ('15), Tori Carter-Johnston ('18), Kalina Zizulka ('18), Jeremy Odrich ('19), Brendan Mahoney ('08), and Rebecca Barber ('11). Many thanks to all who came out to support this fun annual event. We are told there will be a girl's game next year, so former players, be ready!
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we held the annual John A. Davis Memorial Turkey Bowl, a longstanding Tandem tradition that's an open soccer game for all ages held the day after Thanksgiving on the pitch. This year's attendance was particularly affected by the UVA-Virginia Tech football game, so only a few intrepid souls came out to play. Alums Tommy White ('16), Ali Abdel-Rahman ('16) and Dirk Kingma ('04) came to play, as did Dirk's wife Jackie Rose Kingma (former Tandem Athletic Director and teacher) and their daughter, June. Former drama teacher and Development Director Larry Goldstein also attended, as did Advancement Director Tracy Proctor. Thanks to those who came out - we're hoping for a bigger turnout next year.